For most people in Plymouth, Bristol is probably one of those places we are a little guilty of ignoring when thinking of places to visit. Far enough away to be annoying for a day trip but too close to seem worthwhile having an overnight stay. I know I’ve been guilty of that mentality and recent trips have just revolved around using the airport. With an eye to moving to Bristol in 2020, Emily and I changed that habit this weekend. She has never been, so a visit before moving was of course necessary. Since my redundancy is around the corner it needed to be before our travels in order to make a decision upon coming back. So the perfect time to visit! Once our coach arrived we took a short walk to Stoke’s Croft to explore some of the more hipster areas and start the Banksy trail with the famous The Mild Mild West piece. After a spot of vintage shopping and a coffee / craft beer combo (to become a theme of our visit), we headed to our AirBnB in Montpelier.
The Mild Mild West – one of the many Banksy pieces in Bristol
Once we were checked in we headed to the harbour, meeting friends Simon and Maisie for a selection of beers, ciders and an amazing burger on a barge at Three Brothers Burgers. Full, but at a very reasonable price, Emily and I headed to the Old Vic. We saw The Jumper Factory, a modern play about life in prison performed by young men who were all in some way effected by the criminal justice system. Very cool. After a few more drinks, Emily and I headed back. Our first day was a success and I could already tell that Emily was loving the place.
The Old Vic – the oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world
With both of us being super outdoorsy people, a move to a city will require access to green space for us to walk, relax and explore nature. Since Ashton Court is the biggest park in the city, we spent the majority of Sunday walking around and soaking up the sunshine. Boasting two deer parks and only a short walk from both Clifton and Leigh Woods, our need for green will definitely be satisfied when moving. While not as truly wild as the South West Coast Path or Dartmoor, I am looking forward to summer afternoons spent reading in the fields overlooking Bristol. For more adventures in the future we know we will be within driving distance of the Cotswolds, Mendips, Wye Valley and the Brecon Beacons. Plenty to explore!
Ashton Court in the beautiful sunshine
Walking back I took Emily over the iconic Clifton suspension bridge. Another place to explore more fully in the future as we did not have the time to check out the visitor centre. I briefly explained some of the history and facts about Brunel to Emily, so I look forward to having all of them proved to be wrong! After more beers and coffee we checked out an amazing Ethiopian restaurant, Real Habesha, which I cannot recommend enough. Amazingly cheap and super authentic. I am so looking forward to living in Bristol and being able to visit more often! Sunday was the perfect day for us. A walk, sunshine, beer and a good meal. Bristol really was shaping up to be everything we hoped it would be.
View across the Clifton Suspension Bridge
We woke up after a little lie in on Monday to glorious sunshine again. After grabbing a lovely breakfast at the Bristolian we headed out to the centre to check out two of the closer parks and green areas that would replace some of our favourite spots in Plymouth. Walking through the college green and past the Cathedral we headed to Brandon Hill park, climbed Cabot Tower and enjoyed the views across Bristol.
Cabot Tower atop Brandon Hill
It was a very chilled morning but for us it was important that we took time living how would after the move. You don’t move to a city just for the tourist spots after all! You move because it enriches your working life and your free time. So we headed back to the centre and grabbed some street food from the fabulous St Nicholas market to enjoy in Castle Park, soaking up the sun before we had to head back to Plymouth.
Amazing cakes at Ahh Toots in St. Nicholas Market
After a busy weekend I could not be happier with the city and the pair of us are looking forward to the adventures our move in 2020 will bring. With fantastic airport links and London only 90 mins away by train it seems an exciting prospect for the future!
Photo credits for this post, check out Emily on Instagram
More of the amazing Bristol Street Art